U.S. Route 169 in Minnesota

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 169 in Minnesota. For the entire length of the highway, see U.S. Route 169.

U.S. Highway 169 marker

U.S. Highway 169
U.S. 169 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Mn/DOT
Length: 359.523 mi[2] (578.596 km)
Existed: 1931[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: US 169 in Elmore, MN
at the Minnesota–Iowa state line
  I-90 in Blue Earth
US 14 / MN 60 in Mankato
I-494 / MN 5 in Bloomington
I-394 in St. Louis Park
I-94 / I-694 in Brooklyn Park
US 10 / MN 47 in Anoka
US 10 / MN 101 in Elk River
US 2 in Grand Rapids
MN 65 near Pengilly , Nashwauk
North end: US 53 / MN 169 near Virginia
Location
Counties: Faribault, Blue Earth, Nicollet, Sibley, Le Sueur, Scott, Hennepin, Anoka, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Itasca, St. Louis
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highways
MN 156 MN 169

U.S. Route 169 (US 169) is a major north–south highway in the U.S. state of Minnesota, connecting the Minnesota River valley with the Twin Cities and the Iron Range. Much of the route is built to expressway or freeway standards.

Route description[edit]

First reassurance marker in Minnesota north of the Iowa state line

U.S. 169 enters Minnesota near Elmore as a two-lane, undivided highway, continuing as such through Blue Earth, where it crosses Interstate Highway 90. Roughly 5 miles southwest of Mankato, U.S. 169 and State Highway 60 merge to a single expressway through Mankato. In North Mankato, Highway 60 moves from a concurrency with U.S. 169 to another one with U.S. 14.

US 169 northbound concurrent with MN 22 and MN 99 in Saint Peter

In Mankato and North Mankato, US 169 functions as an arterial highway, passing directly through the cities' downtown area. From Mankato north to Shakopee, the route remains an expressway, except for the section passing through Saint Peter, where US 169 is the main street through town.

55 miles (89 km) of U.S. 169 from Saint Peter to I-494 in Bloomington is officially designated the John A. Johnson Memorial Highway. This includes the Bloomington Ferry Bridge between Shakopee and Bloomington. This designation is marked as "Johnson Memorial Drive" on some maps, but not marked as such on directional signs, nor commonly known by this name.

In the Minneapolis area, the route is constructed to freeway standards between County Road 15 in Shakopee and Hennepin County Road 81. The freeway between Interstate 494 and Interstate 694 was originally built by Hennepin County as County Road 18. In 1988, County Road 18 was transferred to the state of Minnesota and became the new alignment for Highway 169 in the Minneapolis area. In exchange, Hennepin County took over maintenance of two other highways that were formerly state routes.

Also in the Minneapolis area, U.S. 169 is often very congested. However, since the freeway passes very close to residential neighborhoods in many locations, any expansion of the freeway would disrupt housing stock in the surrounding area.

North of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, U.S. 169 continues as an expressway to Mille Lacs Lake, an important resort area. The highway skirts the western shore of the lake. 74 miles (119 km) of U.S. 169 from Elk River to Garrison is officially designated the POW / MIA Memorial Highway. From Mille Lacs Lake, U.S. 169 continues northward to its junction with U.S. 2 at Grand Rapids. Here, 169 turns northeasterly to reach the cities of the Mesabi Iron Range.

At Pengilly, U.S. 169 becomes an expressway and remains such for the rest of its run. It passes through the cities of Hibbing, Chisholm, and Mountain Iron before reaching U.S. 53 at the city of Virginia. This four-lane stretch of 169 is also known as the Highway 169 Cross Range Expressway. The northern terminus of U.S. 169 is at the city of Virginia.

State Highway 169 begins immediately north of Virginia in Wuori Township; and continues northeast for 49 miles (79 km) to the cities of Tower, Ely, and Winton. State Highway 169 is numbered as an extension of U.S. 169.

U.S. 169 is one of three Minnesota U.S. marked highways to carry the same number as an existing state marked highway within the state. The others being Highways 61 and 65.

Legally, the Minnesota section of U.S. 169 is defined as all or part of Routes 5, 7, 383, 3, 18, and 35 in the Minnesota Statutes §§ 161.114(2) and 161.117(4).[1],[2] The route is not marked with those numbers.

History[edit]

U.S. 169 was extended into Minnesota circa 1931.[1] The route in Minnesota was paved by 1940.[1]

U.S. 169, between the junction with State Highway 60 (south of Mankato) and the Twin Cities, was upgraded to at least expressway status over several stages. The freeway section around Mankato and the adjoining expressway sections were completed in the early 1960s, along with bypasses of Le Sueur, Jordan and Belle Plaine.[1]

The U.S. 169 freeway bypass around Shakopee was built in the mid-1990s along a new alignment, which included the newly constructed Bloomington Ferry Bridge. Prior to this realignment, U.S. 169 crossed the Minnesota River from downtown Shakopee where it had been co-signed with State Highway 101. North of the river crossing, U.S. 169 had previously been co-signed with what was then U.S. 212 (Flying Cloud Drive) through Eden Prairie until 1996.

A new U.S. 169 interchange with State Highway 19, near Henderson, was completed in 2002.[1]

An expressway section of Highway 169 through southern Hennepin County was converted to full freeway in 2006, with new interchanges constructed at Pioneer Trail and Anderson Lakes Parkway. At-grade intersections with traffic signals have been removed at the recently constructed Interstate 494 interchange, which was previously a point of frequent congestion.

North of the Twin Cities, Highway 169 has been upgraded to an expressway between Elk River and the southern end of Mille Lacs Lake, with bypasses of Princeton and Milaca built in the late 1980s.

U.S. 169 between Hill City and Grand Rapids has been built to super-2 standards.

The expressway section between Pengilly and the city of Virginia was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In 2008, construction began on a new Highway 169 interchange with County Road 81 and 85th Avenue North in Brooklyn Park. This interchange is also known as The Devil's Triangle, or simply as "The Triangle", because of the major traffic congestion during rush hour, especially in the afternoon. Construction was completed on August 11, 2011.

During the flooding of September 2010, flood waters destroyed a 150 foot section of the northbound lanes of Highway 169 between St. Peter and Le Sueur. Mn/DOT believes, "when the flood waters rose up it found a weak spot in the slope or the dirt bank and got under the grass and started mining under the pavement. Finally, it just sucked all the dirt out and the pavement just dropped into a hole." Traffic was detoured to the southbound lanes of 169 for a month, resulting in a temporary two lane expressway, until the northbound section was repaired.

In November 2010, construction began on a completely redesigned Highway 169 interchange at Interstate 494, where three traffic signals had existed. The new interchange features six roundabouts, new flyover bridges, and two new bridges over I-494 that will carry West 78th Street and Washington Avenue. Major construction began in March 2011. Construction continued in spring 2012 with the completion of reconstructing surrounding roads and remaining ramps. Mn/DOT completed the entire project in November 2012. The 2010 cost of the construction project was $140 million. [3] [4]

Future[edit]

A study to convert U.S. 169 to a freeway between U.S. 10 in Elk River to 277th Avenue north of Zimmerman was completed in late 2009. A complete review of the project by Mn/DOT will occur in 2011. A complete construction schedule and timeline will then by released by Mn/DOT. Allocation of funds for the project is currently underway and the only thing holding back from starting the project. The project is expected to cost around $178 Million. In the meantime, the 14 miles between U.S. 10 in Elk River to 277th Avenue north of Zimmerman will be resurfaced during the 2012 construction season. The construction will begin in May 2012. [5]

Exit list for freeway section in Twin Cities[edit]

All exits are unnumbered.

County Location Mile[6] km Destinations Notes
Scott Jackson Township 108.829–
109.172
175.143–
175.695
County 15 (Marystown Road)
Shakopee 110.485–
111.121
177.808–
178.832
County 17 (Marschall Road)
112.424–
113.079
180.929–
181.983
County 83 (Canterbury Road)
114.873–
115.033
184.870–
185.128
To MN 13 – Burnsville, Savage Northbound exit and southbound entrance
115.520–
115.591
185.911–
186.026
County 21 northbound exit is via previous exit
116.338–
116.763
187.228–
187.912
County 101 – Shakopee
To MN 13 – Burnsville, Savage
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Minnesota River 116.399–
117.612
187.326–
189.278
Bloomington Ferry Bridge
Hennepin Bloomington 117.606–
118.240
189.269–
190.289
County 1 east (Old Shakopee Road) / Riverview Road South end of CR 1 overlap
118.411–
119.098
190.564–
191.670
County 1 west (Pioneer Trail) North end of CR 1 overlap
119.876–
120.463
192.922–
193.866
Bloomington Ferry Road, Anderson Lakes Parkway
121.570–
121.580
195.648–
195.664
Washington Avenue, Marth Road
122.118–
122.235
196.530–
196.718
I-494 / MN 5
Edina 122.950–
123.325
197.869–
198.472
Valley View Road
Eden Prairie 124.160–
124.600
199.816–
200.524
US 212 west / MN 62
Eden Prairie
Edina
124.800–
125.192
200.846–
201.477
Londonderry Road, Bren Road
125.820–
126.090
202.488–
202.922
7th Street South
Hopkins 126.656–
126.957
203.833–
204.317
County 3 – Downtown Hopkins
Hopkins
St. Louis Park
127.265–
127.760
204.813–
205.610
MN 7 – Minneapolis, Excelsior
St. Louis Park 127.974–
128.030
205.954–
206.044
36th Street Southbound exit and northbound entrance
128.199–
128.448
206.316–
206.717
County 5 (Minnetonka Boulevard) to US 169 south
128.755–
128.798
207.211–
207.280
Cedar Lake Road
129.125–
129.391
207.807–
208.235
Frontage Road Northbound exit and entrance
129.816 208.919 16th Street
St. Louis Park
Golden Valley
130.080–
130.466
209.343–
209.965
I-394 – Minneapolis
Golden Valley
Plymouth
130.565–
130.640
210.124–
210.245
Betty Crocker Drive, Shelard Parkway
New Hope 130.780–
131.140
210.470–
211.049
MN 55 – Minneapolis, Buffalo
131.380–
131.760
211.436–
212.047
13th Avenue, Plymouth Avenue
132.430–
132.770
213.125–
213.673
County 70 (Medicine Lake Road)
133.490–
133.810
214.831–
215.346
36th Avenue North
134.190–
134.641
215.958–
216.684
County 9 (Rockford Road)
135.000–
135.310
217.261–
217.760
49th Avenue North
135.900–
136.340
218.710–
219.418
County 10 (Bass Lake Road)
Brooklyn Park
Maple Grove
136.820–
137.000
220.190–
220.480
63rd Avenue North
137.630–
138.080
221.494–
222.218
I-94 / I-694
138.440–
138.880
222.798–
223.506
County 130 (77th Avenue North, Brooklyn Boulevard)
Brooklyn Park 139.572 224.619 County 81 / County 109 Converted from an at-grade to an interchange in 2011
    Freeway ends, US 169 continues as a four-lane expressway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]


U.S. Route 169
Previous state:
Iowa
Minnesota Next state:
Terminus